I did 18 miles today of mostly level-ish trail. I stopped for lunch on the shore of Upper Goose Pond, which is more of a lake really. There’s a cabin half a mile off trail that has bunks, canoes, and pancake breakfasts, but I unfortunately had to skip it since it would have meant a really short day. I wanted to spend some time at the lake though since this is the first summer in my life I won’t make it to my grandparents’ lake house in upstate NY and I miss it. The similar smell drew me in so I sat and read a while.
While going over October Mountain today, I heard rustling in the brush next to the trail ten feet ahead of me and saw black fur. I was getting ready to jump back because I thought a small bear might pop out, but instead it was a porcupine. It sat there watching me for a minute then climbed the tree next to it. It kept stopping to look back at me so I waited until it was higher before moving by.
Right now I am camped at the Cookie Lady’s house. She and the Cookie Man live right off the trail and welcome hikers with homemade cookies and free camping in their yard. It’s a really nice setup. I got to talk to both of them and then cooked my dinner at the picnic table. Afterwards, I was suddenly swarmed with mosquitoes, with them biting through my clothes even, so I rushed to clean up and get in my tent. Then I spent the next ten minutes catching the mosquitoes that had snuck in with me. I can still hear the whine of them outside my bug net.